Interstitial Organizations as Conversational Bridges

Organizational life today is beset by demands for accountability: from health care and banking to humanitarian aid and higher education, there is a clamor to demonstrate and document effectiveness. This progressive rationalization has seen scientific practices of evaluation and managerial concepts of efficiency move into voluntary and charitable domains. The hesitant embrace of performance metrics in the U.S. nonprofit sector is an example of this recombination of practices.

Our maps reflect the presence of civic ideals, managerial concepts, and scientific assessments among 369 organizations actively involved in efforts at measuring social impact.

Their capacity to proselytize practices that recombine civic, managerial and scientific elements becomes evident when we shift from examining their internal connections to external ties. Although some connections exist among the civic, scientific, and managerial communities, each is more closely connected to the interstitial community.